Feature Article of Thursday, 19 July 2012
Columnist: Thompson, Kofi
By Illegal Gold Mining
By Kofi Thompson
Every time the price of gold goes up, my heart sinks - for it means further intensification of the destruction of what is left, of our natural heritage, by illegal surface gold miners.
The cost to society, at a time when global climate change is impacting Ghanaian agriculture so negatively, of the activities of illegal surface gold miners, is incalculable.
To compound the problem, many illegal surface gold miners often work in tandem with illegal loggers in some forest-belt areas of Ghana.
They are causing great harm to the natural environment, in a vast swathe of the Ghanaian countryside - depleting the remainder of Ghana's forest cover; poisoning soils; compromising the quality of the underground water table; and silting up streams and rivers.
If illegal gold miners and loggers are not forced to stop degrading the Ghanaian countryside, we might very well end up spending most of the wealth we generate as a people today, repairing the harm caused by those potentially dangerous and mostly lawless individuals, driven by unfathomable greed, tomorrow.
The time has come for officialdom to act firmly. We must halt the wanton destruction of the natural environment by illegal gold mining, once and for all.
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